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By Dave Taylor
It’s a story that’s been told time and time again, but Kentucky’s recommended highway plan for years 2020 through 2026 plans to widen Highway 60, although unlike other years it also plans to pave it. This plan also has a bigger push toward guardrails, of which Hancock County will get three.
“The 2020 Recommended Highway Plan includes an aggressive Guardrail Program to begin the process to address the backlog of guardrail installation projects,” the plan intro reads. “The current backlog of identified guardrail needs across the Commonwealth is 3,400 miles, with an estimated cost of $74 million.”
The highway plan lists five total projects for the county, but the potentially big change is the plan to spend $7,880,000 to widen more than six miles of Highway 60 in the year 2021.
Previously the widening had been pushed out many years into the future while other projects were removed all together.
The plan calls for $1,050,000 to be spent in fiscal year 2020 on right of ways and utility relocation, with the construction to begin in fiscal year 2021.
The entire project is slated to cost $8,930,000 and run from mile point 1.933 to 8.200, a total of 6.28 miles.
Also on the proposed plan is a $5 million repaving that is scheduled for 2024, which will pave 7.47 miles of Highway 60 from mile point 1.933 to 9.4, for preventive maintenance.
The state’s push for guardrails is obvious in the county, with three planned, two in 2021 and one in 2023.
In 2021 the plan calls for a guardrail on state Route 69, from mile point 10.060 to 10.140, a length of .08 miles, at a total cost of $17,000.
Another guardrail would go up also on KY 69, running from mile point 3.160 to 3.310,a total of .15 miles, at a cost of $33,000.
A guardrail for KY 261 is planned for 2024, from mile point 12.5 to 12.64, at a cost of $32,000.
The recommended plan is just that, recommended, and can face changes before it’s fully voted on and implemented for the next six years.